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Jet JWBS-14SF Bandsaw
Jets new JWBS-14SF is a home run. This was apparent when we first got a chance to see the saw at the media event in Nashville. The saw was feature packed and was built to such a high standard that most of us wanted to know why it was Jet white instead of Powermatic gold.
The 14 inch band saw is the most common size found in the home woodworkers shop and is also found in the small professional shop as well. So it was no wonder that this would be a saw that would get all the cool stuff as Walter Meier announced when they invited all the top magazines and websites to Nashville to see the new path they would be taking.
One of the first things I noticed in Nashville was the attention to detail for this saw. It began with a huge 21.5 inch x16 inch cast iron table top with a two position fence that is a great resaw fence with micro adjustment as well as a wonderful low profile fence that will let you lower the guide to within a ½inch of the table top. The measurement markings appear to be laser etched into the guide and are very accurate Another impressive feature was the lack of cheap plastic knobs, instead you find great anodized self-locking knobs and metal crank speed knobs.
Next is the best in class 13.5 inch resaw capacity with a rack and pinion guide post adjustment. There is a second rack and pinion adjustment for the table tilt. In his review of this saw for Fine Woodworking, Roland Johnson said he had an issue with the rack and pinion allowing the table to move under force while in the tilt positions. He also said the table was solid in the flat position. In the 2 months I tested the saw I bevel cut 25 times and even using large slabs of wood I had no movement of the table while in actual use. However I was able to apply a large amount of body weight on the table and was able to get a small movement. I trust Roland, and am sure his evaluation was accurate for the unit he tested. Never the less in real world use this was a non-issue on the unit I tested.
Next up is the blade adjustment offering a quick tensioner, a top wheel clear viewing port, and tool-less guide adjustments. Another great feature I loved about this saw was the throat plate. Its larger than my other jet bandsaw and easier to adjust. To get it perfectly flat you simply turn the three set screws. It was easy to check that the blade is aligned properly on the tires. On this saw the factory tires are urethane which is normally an upgrade, but they are standard on the JWBS-14SF.
For dust collection they went all out with twin 4 inch collection ports. This feature was over 95% effective overall and the best dust control we have ever seen in any band saw.
Putting this saw to work was a real joy. I used several blades from different manufacturers to see how the saw handled the blades of varying quality from cheap to pricy and low quality to the best we could find. We cut from a 1/8 inch blade to a ¾resaw blade in each case the saw blade tracked great and the blade changes were very quick and oh so easy. The saw has good power and it never bogged down even when taking the resaw up over 10 inches thick. Truly a joy to use the JWBS-14SF is a great saw that I have pushed as hard as I could and it never let me down. From its high end style to its top end performance this saw does not disappoint. Some of the features of this saw are so well thought out you can tell the new direction Walter Meier is taking Jet and Powermatic is going to be yielding some of the best tools we have ever been able to buy. I am quite excited to see the new tools coming in the next couple of years and based on this saw, we have many really great tools to look forward to. Over the next couple of years WM will put its self firmly atop the home woodshop tool market, so if you want a high end shop at home or for your small pro-shop it’s clear that you’re going to want to see what Jet and Powermatic offer in each class of tool.
In review here are some of the features that make this saw a five out of five star tool
- 13-1/2”of resaw capacity
- Redesigned fence with laser etched scale and micro-adjust feature
- Two position faceplate provides appropriate support for every cut
- Tool-less guide adjustments
- Conveniently located dual dust collection ports
- Sturdy wheels feature a shallow crown and polyurethane tires
- Heavy duty tensioning with quick release
- Four sided blade guard
- Blades can be removed out the front of the table, no bending or angling required
- Round table insert features leveling screws for precise adjustment
- No assembly required
Our saw also came with the Jet universal tool mobile base so we can roll it around as needed. This base goes together very quickly and is a great base be sure to order the mobile base with your saw as it makes it so very convenient to move and use the saw
After all this I am still left with my first question why is this a jet saw and not a Powermatic saw we may never know but I now believe that both brands are on a new higher quality push making the bar a bit higher to reach for the other manufacturers. It’s a great time to be a woodworker We are currently shooting some videos for the website and will be posting a complete video review of this saw as well as some other wonderful tools so keep your eyes peeled on us as we make a few new changes to the site this year.